The Best Stereo Receiver

The Best Stereo Receiver

Our pick

Sony STR-DH190

Sony STR-DH190

A simple, affordable, nice-sounding receiver

The STR-DH190 handles phono, Bluetooth, and more, and it delivers a lot of power for its price.

Buying Options

$130 from Amazon

Our listening panel found that the Sony STR-DH190 sounded as good as any other receiver under $200, and it has the features we think most people consider important in a stereo receiver: Bluetooth (to connect portable devices), a phono preamp (to connect a turntable), and plenty of power. You can find better performance and more features elsewhere, but only at a much higher price. The STR-DH190 has a user-friendly design and remote, too, but it also makes a few sacrifices to reach that ultra-low price: Its speaker-cable connectors are rather flimsy, its proprietary FM-antenna connector is annoying because it forces you to use Sony’s cheap supplied antenna, it doesn’t have an AM tuner, and it doesn’t sound as smooth and natural as our upgrade pick, the Yamaha R-N303.

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Upgrade pick

Yamaha R-N303

Yamaha R-N303

The stereo receiver that has it all

The R-N303 streams through Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, includes phono and digital inputs, and sounds very good.

Buying Options

$300 from Amazon

The Yamaha R-N303 is one of the few affordable audio devices that don’t lack important features and don’t compromise on sound quality. It’ll do practically anything you might want it to do: stream music and Internet radio via Wi-Fi, work as part of a multiroom audio system, play audio from Bluetooth devices, and connect to a record player and TV. It also emerged as the favorite in our blind listening tests, although it didn’t sound radically better than our top pick, the Sony STR-DH190, and it costs a lot more. It’s not as user-friendly as the Sony, and the network setup isn’t as easy as it could be. The R-N303 may be overkill for many people, but for someone who is willing to pay more to get a great-sounding, network-capable stereo receiver, it’s the best choice.

Everything we recommend

Our pick

Sony STR-DH190

Sony STR-DH190

A simple, affordable, nice-sounding receiver

The STR-DH190 handles phono, Bluetooth, and more, and it delivers a lot of power for its price.

Buying Options

$130 from Amazon

Upgrade pick

Yamaha R-N303

Yamaha R-N303

The stereo receiver that has it all

The R-N303 streams through Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, includes phono and digital inputs, and sounds very good.

Buying Options

$300 from Amazon

Source: NY Times – Wirecutter

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